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Post new topic Looking for a lap steel bar which is easy to slant
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Author Topic:  Looking for a lap steel bar which is easy to slant
Kristen Bruno


From:
Orlando, Florida, USA
Post Posted 22 Jul 2013 5:42 pm     Reply with quote

Lately changing the hand position to slant the bar has been cramping my hands. Looking for a bar which doesn't take much effort to slant.

Would a bar with two angled sides at about 45 degree angles make it easier, since there would be "less finger stretching" to rotate the bar? I think I saw a video of a guy using a bar like this but I can't find it anymore.

(another less practical option would be to put the lap steel on a rotating lazy susan and hold the bar straight and rotate the whole guitar - never-mind)

Thanks
K
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 22 Jul 2013 6:07 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
...changing the hand position to slant the bar has been cramping my hands.


You shouldn't have to change your hand position much. The hand stays basically in the same position and the bar swivels within the hand. The thumb does most of the work moving the bar.

Check out this excellent youtube video on slanting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLxIU8u2gko
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David Matzenik


From:
Cairns, on the Coral Sea
Post Posted 22 Jul 2013 6:10 pm     Reply with quote

The only alternative to the bullet bar that I see is the Lazy Susan. Those other bars are just bars with training wheels. The cramps sound like you are gripping the bar too tightly. Tension in your hand could indicate this.

From the straight bar hold with the first finger on top of the bar, you should only need your thumb to push the butt of the bar back under your fingers. Slant achieved. Or conversely, put the thumb in the hollow and flip the butt up-neck to achieve the reverse slant. Like I said there should not be a lot of tension in your hand.
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Kristen Bruno


From:
Orlando, Florida, USA
Post Posted 22 Jul 2013 6:44 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks.

My string blocking gets "mediocre" when I do this but I will have to work on it.
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Tony Lombardo


From:
Alabama, USA
Post Posted 22 Jul 2013 7:02 pm     Reply with quote

When I started, I was using a Dunlop bar made of steel, and my slants were terrible. Well, I use a Tribotone B Weight Bar now and my slants are still pretty mediocre, but those mediocre slants are much easier to make with the Tribotone.

Tony L.
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Blake Hawkins


Post Posted 23 Jul 2013 5:47 am     Reply with quote

Contact Jim Burden of "Bullet Bars."
He will build you what you need.
I have two of his bars and they are very easy to slant. My oldest has been used for over 6 years and has no scratches nor nicks. Still looks new.
His phone number: 812-366-3356
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Webb Kline


From:
Bloomsburg, PA
Post Posted 23 Jul 2013 12:31 pm     Reply with quote

Try altering your body position slightly. I notice that people who have the hardest times with slants have their bodies positioned too far to the left toward the neck. I made this discovery myself when I first started playing standing up. I needed to keep my body just a little bit closer to the bridge and it made a world of difference in my slanting accuracy. Much more fluid, wrist much less restricted.
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Jay Yuskaitis


From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post Posted 23 Jul 2013 1:06 pm     Reply with quote

The easiest way to accomplish the slants is with pedals. I know, I know, pedals are so mechanical sounding. The only other "Key To The Kingdom", not my words, but from Rick Alexander, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. The only "true secret". Jay Y.
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David Matzenik


From:
Cairns, on the Coral Sea
Post Posted 24 Jul 2013 2:50 am     Reply with quote

BROZ-O-PHONICS RULE! Very Happy




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CrowBear Schmitt


From:
Ariege, - PairO'knees, - France
Post Posted 24 Jul 2013 4:58 am     Reply with quote

Courtesy of the Archives & Doug B among others ... Winking







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Edward Meisse


From:
Santa Rosa, California, USA
Post Posted 24 Jul 2013 11:38 pm     Reply with quote

Broz-O-phonics are quite good. And so are tribotones. But my favorite bar for electric lap steel is the BJS Jerry Byrd model. That makes for the easiest slants both forward and reverse. It also seems to be easier to get accurate split slants with it.
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Mark Roeder


From:
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 31 Jul 2013 8:47 am     Reply with quote

I would echo what Doug and David say, don't get too caught up in what bar to use, it is in that thumb technique. I was struggling with slants, using to much wrist. I was noticed by Chris Kinneson at a steel guitar convention and he gave me that same tip. Now it's no wrist and mostly pushing with the thumb, well worth the cost of the trip.

BTW I do like those Tribo-tone bars too
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Gary Meixner


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 31 Jul 2013 9:25 am     Reply with quote

I agree with Doug, don't get too caught up on which bar to use. Ultimately the bar shouldn't matter once you have mastered the technique. Learn to relax your hand and let the weight of the bar be supported by the strings. I also have to agree that the Tribo-tone is a great bar to learn slants with. The material they are made from seems to feel a little less slippery to your fingers yet is nice and slick on the strings. I also love the Bullet Bars made by Jim Burden - I use them almost exclusively now. Make sure you warm up a little before trying a new technique. Play for ten minutes or so using techniques you are already comfortable with then try something new for a few minutes. Relax and have fun.

Good luck,

Gary
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Chris Templeton


From:
New England
Post Posted 31 Jul 2013 2:22 pm     Reply with quote

The BJS Jerry Byrd bar is the best. Forward and reverse slants.
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Andy Henriksen


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 1 Aug 2013 7:48 am     Reply with quote

Chris Templeton wrote:
The BJS Jerry Byrd bar is the best. Forward and reverse slants.

I love mine, but I do have to say, when I first got it I was a bit put off by how slippery it was. I kept losing it. also, the recess in the end is very minimal compared to some others, so you can't grab it with your thumb quite as easily.

That all said, I overcame those things in a few practices, and now it's the only bar I use.
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Jean-Sebastien Gauthier


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post Posted 1 Aug 2013 8:02 am     Reply with quote

Chris Templeton wrote:
The BJS Jerry Byrd bar is the best. Forward and reverse slants.


+1
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